By Seth Daniel
File this one under, ‘Really Bad Timing.’
In an operation that set the Chelsea immigrant community sideways on Tuesday, Nov. 15, the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrived in Chelsea one week after the landmark U.S. Presidential election to find two long-time deportation targets.
The operation came just as the election had set the immigrant community, particularly the numerous immigrants in Chelsea who are here illegally, into an extreme time of caution. So it was, when ICE officials were spotted Tuesday, conclusions were quickly drawn between President-elect Donald Trump’s election and the deportation actions.
Police Chief Brian Kyes said there was no raid and that the operation was one his department – as is normal course – did not participate in.
“The Detention and Removal component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency had an occasion to be in Chelsea early (Tuesday) morning looking for two targets who both had multiple felony and misdemeanor convictions attributable to their criminal record, some in State and some out of State,” he said. “Pursuant to the federal DHS Priority Enforcement Program both individuals were placed in custody by ICE to be processed and detained at an ICE Facility. This was not a ‘raid’ or so-called ’round-up’ as some have erroneously indicated on social media.”
Instead, Kyes said it was a typical operation to apprehend criminals who are believed to be here illegally.
“This was part of a routine operation where ICE targets individuals across the Commonwealth who they have reasonable information are undocumented and have also been convicted in a court of competent jurisdiction in the United States of certain serious enumerated offenses which threaten public safety,” he said